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Pete Norman – VP and CFO

Steve Springsteel – Chairman, President, and CEO

Analysts

Derrick Wood – Wedbush Morgan Securities

Patrick Walravens – JMP Securities

Chordiant Software, Inc. (CHRD) F3Q09 (Qtr End 06/30/09) Earnings Call Transcript July 30, 2009 5:00 PM ET

Operator

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to Chordiant Software’s third quarter 2009 earnings conference call. During today’s presentation, all parties will be in a listen-only mode. Following the presentation, the conference will be opened for questions. (Operator instructions) As a reminder, this conference is being recorded today, Thursday, July 30th, 2009.

I would now turn the conference over to our host, Mr. Pete Norman, Chief Financial Officer. Please go ahead sir.

Peter Norman

Good afternoon. I’m Pete Norman, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Chordiant Software. Thank you for joining us today to review our results for the third quarter of fiscal 2009. On the call with me today is Steve Springsteel, our Chairman, President, and CEO.

We’ll begin with prepared comments from management and then we will open the call up for questions. By now, you should have a copy of the press release issued by the company this afternoon after the close of the market. You can find a copy of this release on our website at www.chordiant.com. A replay of this conference call can also be reached through the Investor Relations section of the company’s website.

The information in today’s conference call will include historical information and forward-looking statements, including guidance about our business that involves risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements.

Forward-looking statements are generally identified by words such as believe, may, expect, anticipate, plan, guidance, projection and similar expressions. Further information on potential factors that could affect our financial results is included in Chordiant’s most recent SEC filings. We assume no obligation to update guidance or other forward-looking statements.

In addition, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles or GAAP financial measures and the most directly comparable non-GAAP financial measures may be discussed on this webcast. Chordiant continues to provide all information in accordance with GAAP and does not suggest or believe that non-GAAP financial measures should be considered as the substitute for, or superior to measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with GAAP.

However, Chordiant believes that these non-GAAP financial measures provide meaningful supplemental information regarding its operating results primarily because they exclude amount such as the expense for non-cash equity-based compensation, restructuring and other infrequent charges, the non-cash tax expense related to net operating loss carry forward and the amortization of purchased intangible assets.

The company does not consider these items a part of ongoing operating results when assessing the performance of the company. We believe that our non-GAAP financial measures also facilitate the comparison of results for current period with the results for past period. Please visit the Investor Relations section of our website for more information regarding the non-GAAP financial measures discussed on this webcast.

And now, I’ll turn the call over to our Chairman, President and CEO, Steve Springsteel. Steve.

Steve Springsteel

Thanks, Pete. Good afternoon everyone, and thank you for joining us today. On the call today, I will briefly discuss our results for the third quarter of fiscal 2009, provide you with a view of the current market conditions and update you on our products, customers and business partner.

I will then turn the call over to Pete, who will discuss the third quarter financial results in more detail, as well as our outlook for the reminder of fiscal 2009. We will then open the call up for questions.

Although the environment continued to be a challenge in the quarter, we did see initial signs that budgets are beginning to open up and IT project that can show a return are being approved. Even with these tough conditions, overall, I was pleased with Chordiant’s performance for the quarter.

Some key highlights for the third quarter include, we closed three seven-figure license transactions in the third quarter, two with existing customers and one with a new customer. Two of our three major regions saw improvement in both pipeline and closure rates. We continued our focus on operational discipline across the organization which allowed us to achieve our goal for the quarter of returning to non-GAAP profitability.

We continued to see our customers’ commitment to Chordiant in our ongoing innovation through our solid performance in maintenance renewals which remain in the greater than 90% level. In the third quarter, we signed two seven-figure multiyear renewal agreements. This is a clear indicator that customers are achieving continued business value from their Chordiant solution.

At the end of June, deferred revenue was approximately $37 million and backlog was approximately $40 million. Our balance sheet remained very strong with $57 million of cash giving us sufficient capital to support strategic flexibility.

Now I would like to give you an update on what we are seeing in the market. Similar to what we saw last quarter, the software spending environment continues to be challenging. However, we did see a few green shoots this quarter. While we certainly did not see a material increase in IT spending, it does appear that things have somewhat improved.

We are cautiously optimistic that the market is starting to turn and companies are getting back to the business of improving their operations and investing in solutions that improve customer retention. While we certainly aren’t predicting any type of significant uptick in activity during the second half of calendar 2009, we sense that the market is headed in the right direction.

With respect to geography, we are seeing modest signs of recovery in North America, the largest consumer of CRM technology. Year-to-date, 60% of our bookings have come from North America and our pipeline is up over 10% sequentially.

On the product side, we had a number of key product releases this past quarter as we continued to innovate. We are working closely with industry analysts and our customers to validate both our product strategy and market direction.

Specifically in the third quarter, we released Chordiant Cx Marketing Version 1.0. Cx Marketing is our new customer centric outbound marketing tool built to seamlessly integrate with our Chordiant Decision Management product.

We released Collections 3.0 which added support for additional industries including emerging vertical markets like utilities. We delivered productivity enhancements that allows Collections from both the customer level and an account level and we enhanced the ability of our Collection product to be linked to secured asset such as automobile.

We also released Marketing Director 6.4, which is in response to our customer request that we add support for DB2 Version 9.5 and Oracle 11g and we’ve also added advanced campaign management through dynamic validation options which reduces campaign bill time and requires significantly fewer resources.

The trend we have seen for the last few quarters continued in the third quarter where the highest level of interest continues to be for the applications, particularly our industry-leading Decision Management products.

With that said, when we review the pipeline, we see a healthy mix of both platform and application transactions going forward in our new seven-figure customer booking in North America this quarter was for our platform product. We continue to see the largest pipeline growth in the emerging markets for the platform products as these customers move to build out their core infrastructure.

During the third quarter, we closed transactions with some mark key customers as BskyB, CIBC, Capital One, and Conseco, which is the parent company of Colonial Penn. We are pleased to have closed opportunities in each of our focus vertical, financial services, telecommunications, and insurance.

We now have 90 customers that have invested over $1 million in Chordiant’s products and services. Customer limitations continued to progress such as BMW Financial Services went into production. BMW Financial Services wanted help in identifying the best account frame for their collections activities.

We accomplished this by integrating CBM with BMW’s existing in-house legacy system to successfully support their business requirement. In this initial production phase, approximately 80 BMW collection representatives will utilize CBM potentially servicing 800,000 accounts and expose CBM as a web service. This implementation was done in less than 90 days.

We also had a large North American financial services company go live with the new release as well. This financial services company’s customers can now apply for new loans through their Internet website. This web-based application uses the Chordiant services of foundation and CBM to pull the customer’s credit bureau report, perform credit scoring, risk ranking and then transfer applications to the branches for processing. So far, thousands of web-based loan applications have been successfully processed. Also to date, more than 30,000 customers have accessed through self service release.

Turning to our pipeline, our overall pipeline remains strong and I believe that our pipeline trends indicate the demand for our solution both platform and applications continues to be solid. However, as it has been proven in this economic downturn, the timing of transactions will continue to be extremely difficult to predict over the coming quarters.

We are encouraged that 50% of our pipeline is partner influence. Speaking of partner influence, on the partner front, we continued to strengthen our relationships with our existing partners in the following areas. We have seen a renewed focus in the world’s largest CRM markets, North America and greater Europe. We also increased our joint focus and targeted emerging markets such as Eastern Europe and we have worked with our partners to broaden our coverage in key verticals through a solution orientation approach to the markets.

With regards to our strategic alliances, we continued to strengthen our partnership with IBM. This quarter we completed our performance testing on this z series with some very impressive results. This testing will continue to enhance the value of Chordiant and IBM in the market and was instrumental in Chordiant being named as an award recipient at the recent IBM Impact Conference 2009.

We also saw increased traction with Accenture globally as evidenced by the increasing number of teaming agreements signed for individual opportunities. And we continue to see pipe growth from our joint campaign with Cap Gemini with a debt management solution for the utilities vertical in the UK.

So in conclusion, while it was a challenging quarter, we are cautiously optimistic that there are green shoots starting to emerge. While we don’t expect to see any type of dramatic rebound in IT spending for the next few quarters, we are optimistic that things are stabilizing and that the investments that we’ve made in our people, products and partners during the downturn will enable us to emerge as an even stronger company as market conditions continue to improve.

With that, I will now turn the call over to Pete Norman, our CFO, for a deeper dive into the third quarter financials and then an outlook for the reminder of 2009. Pete?

Pete Norman

Thanks, Steve. As Steve noted, we did see a slight pickup in activity levels during the third quarter. And we benefitted from the recognition of approximately $4.4 million of Vodafone license revenue.

Total revenues for the third quarter were $20.9 million. And as expected, we returned to profitability on a non-GAAP basis. As of June 30, 2009 total backlog aggregated $39.5 million, compared to the $44.6 million at the end of last quarter.

Looking at the $5.1 million change in backlog for the quarter, there were two significant components that resulted in a change in the backlog of license revenues at the end of the quarter. The first being the $4.4 million of Vodafone license revenue that were recognized against their commitment and then second being approximately $1.1 million of revenue taken on previously deferred contract.

For the deferred service revenue, the change was driven by hourly work that was completed during the quarter and applied against existing statements of work. Offsetting the declines in backlog were increases of approximately $2.3 million caused by foreign exchange rate changes, primarily driven by the increase in the value of the pound sterling against the US dollar.

With respect to Vodafone, during the quarter, we recognized the final $4.4 million of license revenue under the initial Vodafone agreement. We will continue to recognize the associated support and maintenance revenue over the remaining maintenance term which expires in April of 2010. We expect to obtain a support and maintenance contract renewal when the current term expires.

Our aggregate $36.8 million deferred revenue balance at June 30, 2009 increased by $400,000 from the $36.4 million balance at the end of the prior quarter, aided by the improvements that we saw in new license bookings during the quarter. Of the $36.8 million in total deferred revenue, approximately $6.2 million or 17% of the balance relates to license fee and the majority of the remaining 83% is associated with support and maintenance contracts. As of June 30th, we had two accounts with more than $1 million in deferred license revenue.

Turning to the income statement, North American revenues represented approximately 33% of our total revenue, with the remaining 67% being international. License revenues for the third quarter of fiscal 2009 were $8.2 million or 39% of total revenue and as discussed, included approximately $4.4 million of license revenues from Vodafone.

Service revenues were approximately $12.7 million or 61% of total revenue for the quarter. For the trailing 12 months period, ended June 30, 2009 support and maintenance revenues have averaged approximately $9.1 million per quarter.

A portion of this slight decline from the $9.5 million average reported last quarter can still be attributed to foreign exchange rate changes. While the values of the pound sterling and the euro have improved compared to the US dollar, they’ve yet to reach the levels seen between June and September of 2008.

Our support and maintenance renewals experience continues to be excellent as our customers utilized our applications for mission-critical processes. We continued to see year-to-date renewal rate in the greater than 90% range.

As Steve mentioned, we received two new seven-figure multiyear renewals this quarter and year-to-date we have had 18 renewals that each exceeded $300,000 demonstrating that Chordiant’s application continue to be critical to our customers’ businesses and the strong commitments that they have made to Chordiant.

With respect to margins, our overall third quarter non-GAAP gross margin including licenses and services were approximately 76%, up from approximately 68% in the prior quarter, driven by a higher license revenue contribution. Service margins continued to be strong. For the third quarter, non-GAAP service margin which includes support and maintenance were approximately 62% and came in ahead of our targeted range of 55% to 60%.

Total operating expenses declined sequentially due to strong cost controls and operational discipline. We currently have 22 quarter carrying sales reps and alliance personnel as compared to the 24 at the end of the prior quarter.

Non-GAAP operating income for the quarter improved significantly to 14.1% compared to the non-GAAP operating income of 6.8% in Q3 of last year and up from the 6.8% non-GAAP operating loss that we reported in the prior quarter.

This improvement was due to higher revenues than in the prior quarter and significantly lower operating expenses than in the prior year. Other income and expense combined with interest income was a net expense of $645,000 for the quarter, down from the $34,000 of income that we reported in the prior quarter. This decline was due to foreign exchange losses.

Our income tax provisions for the quarter was $1.1 million. Approximately $600,000 of the provision was the non-cash charge relating to the deferred tax assets established in the UK at the end of last year. On a non-GAAP basis, the net income for the quarter was $1.7 million, or $0.06 per share compared to net income of $2.4 million or $0.08 per share in the same quarter last year and a net loss of $1.6 million or $0.05 per basis share last quarter. Under GAAP, the third quarter was breakeven on a per share basis.

Now let’s turn to cash flows in the balance sheet. On June 30, 2009 the aggregate cash, cash equivalent and restricted cash on the balance sheet increased to $56.7 million, up from the $53.4 million at the end of the prior quarter.

During the quarter, we used approximately $3 million in cash for operations primarily for working capital purposes. Favorable changes and exchange rates resulted in the cash balances increasing during the quarter.

Year-to-date, we have had positive cash flows from operation of $3 million. To mitigate the impact of future foreign exchange changes on our cash balances, the end of the quarter, we moved more than $24 million of fund back to the US from the UK.

At the end of the quarter, our days sales outstanding or DSOs relating to accounts receivable were 48 days, down significantly from the 52 days at the end of last quarter. Our diligent collection efforts drove this metric to its best level in the past two years.

Turning to our outlook for the remainder of fiscal year 2009, visibility is not yet improved to a level where we can accurately predict the size and timing of new transaction. So consistent with our disclosures last quarter, we are not providing fiscal year 2009 guidance at this time. We continue to expect that once market conditions stabilize and predictability is more assured, we will once again provide forward-looking guidance.

However, let me provide some general parameters relating to our view of the remainder of fiscal year 2009. Of the remaining $6.2 million in license revenue backlog, in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2009, we expect to recognize $1 million to $2 million of this balance.

We also expect to continue to renew our existing support and maintenance contracts at the rates in line with our historical experience of greater than 90%. For the trailing 12 months period ended June 30, 2009, support and maintenance revenues have averaged approximately $9.1 million per quarter.

Additionally, we expect that our aggregate services revenues for the remainder of the fiscal year 2009 will be slightly up from what we thought in the third quarter. We continued to diligently analyze and manage our headcount and expenses to be appropriate for our current run rate.

Based on the best information that we have available today, we anticipate being around breakeven on a non-GAAP basis in the fourth quarter ending September 30th. However, please note that the bottom line will be impacted of this timing of new deal signing.

We are currently in the planning stages for our fiscal year 2010. On our next quarterly earnings call, we anticipate that we will provide a high-level overview for the next fiscal year. The level of detail will depend upon the degree of visibility available at that time.

Our future cash balances are also highly dependent upon the magnitude of our future bookings as well as the payment terms that we negotiate our new agreement. Given the current environment, we anticipate that some companies pay attempt to negotiate longer payment terms than they have historically which will also have an impact on our cash balances. While we have been very successful in maintaining our cash balances over the past 12 months, we do expect that cash may decline slightly in the near term.

And now, I would like to turn the call back over to Steve for a few closing remarks. Steve?

Steve Springsteel

Thanks, Pete. While the market conditions remain challenging, I am pleased that we are still able to close large transactions for new orders of our product while also maintaining high renewal rates of our maintenance and support agreement and our pipeline remains strong and continues to grow.

We continue to manage our expenses in headcount and then quickly return to profitability after posting our first quarterly loss in (inaudible) last quarter. We are charging on the offensive even more aggressively than in the past. We continued to focus on faster ROI products and competing aggressively on multiple fronts.

We continued to adjust our cost structure with the focus on profitability to ensure that our strong capital structure is preserved. We are improving our ability to morph the company to address the current market demand and I believe we have the right products, people, partnering strategy to ensure that Chordiant remains a leading, best-in-class provider of customer experience solution.

And with that, we would like to now open the call for questions. Operator?

Question-and-Answer Session

Operator

Thank you, sir. (Operator instructions) Our first question comes from the line of Derrick Wood with Wedbush Morgan Securities. Please go ahead.

Derrick Wood – Wedbush Morgan Securities

Hi guys. How you’re doing?

Steve Springsteel

Hi, how you’re doing, Derrick?

Derrick Wood – Wedbush Morgan Securities

Good. Nice job on the operating margin side.

Steve Springsteel

Thank you.

Derrick Wood – Wedbush Morgan Securities

I guess, since I started with that, I am wondering if you could give us any – would you expect any material changes in gross margins or OpEx for next quarter?

Pete Norman

Well, the OpEx run rate has come down sequentially. But I would expect they’d stay about the same as the next couple of quarters. And we said we would expect to be around non-GAAP breakeven next quarter.

Derrick Wood – Wedbush Morgan Securities

Okay. I think gross margins is really going to be a function of the license mix. Okay. And, well, on the services margin, do you feel pretty comfortable about that going forward?

Pete Norman

Yes, I mean, the last few quarters we have been above our target.

Derrick Wood – Wedbush Morgan Securities

Okay. And I guess you mentioned that the pipeline in North America has grown 10% sequentially. Could we infer that, I mean it’s going to be dependent on closure rates, but that you could show, because of this, you could maybe show another increase in bookings next quarter.

Steve Springsteel

Hi, Derrick. This is Steve. I mean, clearly we want to continue with our trend of increasing bookings. North America is coming alive and doing well for us and so we would like to push forward, continue to increase there as well as the other geographies.

Derrick Wood – Wedbush Morgan Securities

And then can you talk qualitatively a little bit about the pipeline of deals, the mix of size in deals and platform versus application and if you do have kind of – are there multimillion dollar deals out there still?

Steve Springsteel

It is multimillion dollar deals. Are there $10 million plus transactions? No, they’re kind of few and far between. If you look kind a bit our pipeline in the aggregate as we had said, North America is about 60% of the pipeline and that’s doing quite well.

If you look versus international – if you look at kind of the vertical split, financial services still holds the lion share of the overall pipeline. And then if you were to then kind of double-click into the product side of the equation, I think what you would find is that – actually it’s being split pretty evenly between platform and foundation.

It’s kind of interesting which is we see a lot of foundation or a lot of platform/foundation opportunity in the emerging geographies and in the more newer geographies like a North America or possibly Northern Europe, that’s where we see a lot of application in our decisioning technology in those type of opportunity.

Derrick Wood – Wedbush Morgan Securities

On the emerging market side, it sounds like you think North America seems to have stabilized the most out of any geography and then if that’s –

Steve Springsteel

Yes, I would say that. I would agree with that. Yes.

Derrick Wood – Wedbush Morgan Securities

So are there any changes in your strategy to try to execute against, I mean that seems to be where the low hanging fruit maybe in the near term, and it sounds like there is more application opportunities there. Are you doing anything different or is just to try to get deals in the pipeline, rolling through the sales cycle?

Steve Springsteel

Yes, I say, we are doing a lot in the area of going to market with IBM, with Cap Gemini, with Accenture, so our partner activity has ramped up some which is good. And we are doing a lot of behind the scenes work with the marketing analysts, as well as lead gen type of activity.

Derrick Wood – Wedbush Morgan Securities

And in the emerging markets, any – it sounds like that probably hasn’t stabilized as much as North America?

Steve Springsteel

No not as much. It’s churn, but I just don’t see the uptick there. Yes, that I have seen in North America.

Pete Norman

Hopefully, we will see some more of that see similar upticks this quarter.

Derrick Wood – Wedbush Morgan Securities

Last quarter, you talked a little bit about – I mean you mentioned the big deal closing already. Can you give us any color how July has been tracking?

Steve Springsteel

I think July is pretty much a typical software quarter where we have had – most of your transactions ends up closing at the end of the quarter. Having said that, we have closed a large maintenance and support renewal, seven-figure maintenance support renewal already, so I mean, it’s coming in.

Derrick Wood – Wedbush Morgan Securities

Okay. Pete, I mean you did mention cash could come down a little bit in the near term, does that suggest that you may see another negative cash flow from operations?

Pete Norman

Yes, that’s possible, because we collected the final $4.4 million on Vodafone this quarter. And the cash flow moving forward is much more dependent upon the new deal bookings and the payment terms that we can negotiate with the customer.

Derrick Wood – Wedbush Morgan Securities

Okay. And the last thing for Pete, so, was Vodafone in the deferred revenue?

Pete Norman

No, it was in the backlog.

Derrick Wood – Wedbush Morgan Securities

Okay. All right, thanks guys.

Steve Springsteel

Okay, thanks, Derrick.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from the line of Patrick Walravens with JMP Securities. Please go ahead.

Patrick Walravens – JMP Securities

Thank you. Hi, gentlemen.

Steve Springsteel

Hi Pat.

Patrick Walravens – JMP Securities

Were the $1 million deals – and I am sorry, I got on the call late, so forgive me if you have already described. But were the $1 million deals all in a particular geography.

Steve Springsteel

No.

Patrick Walravens – JMP Securities

Were they split between North America and Europe?

Steve Springsteel

Yes, they were.

Patrick Walravens – JMP Securities

They were. Okay.

Steve Springsteel

Yes, two of them were in North America. One of them was international.

Patrick Walravens – JMP Securities

Okay. And so – are you still looking for, or maybe still is not the word, are you looking for a Head of Sales globally and are there any changes you want to make to your sales organization, how do you feel about that?

Steve Springsteel

Yes, I think our sales organization is turning things around on top of these opportunities and we are pleased with how we are seeing the pickup in business.

Patrick Walravens – JMP Securities

And you’re comfortable basically just having the regions report to you for the time being.

Steve Springsteel

Yes, I mean I spend more time on the road, but the base time with the customers works out well and I feel comfortable doing that.

Patrick Walravens – JMP Securities

Good. And then, I am sure you gave this, Pete, but what was the cash from operations?

Pete Norman

Well, we burned cash in the current quarter. Year-to-date were $3 million positive.

Patrick Walravens – JMP Securities

No, I am just wondering in the June quarter, what was cash flow from operations?

Pete Norman

I think we burned $3 million.

Patrick Walravens – JMP Securities

Okay.

Pete Norman

But, yes, the FX more than made up for it.

Patrick Walravens – JMP Securities

Okay. And did you say that you think that in the September quarter, you – there is a good chance you burn cash again?

Pete Norman

Well, yes, again it’s highly dependent upon the deals we can get closed and the payment terms that we negotiate with the customers. But yes, there is a possibility we would burn cash in the fourth quarter.

Patrick Walravens – JMP Securities

Okay. So that the big deal that you closed, did you collect the cash on those? Are I guess at what level – maybe the right way to ask the question is, what level of bookings do we need to be at for this business to be generating cash?

Pete Norman

Again, it’s really dependent upon the payment terms. The two deals we have done in the past, we were able to collect cash upfront. The economic environment has changed a lot since then and it’s tougher to get all of the cash upfront.

Patrick Walravens – JMP Securities

Okay. I get it. And so, I guess, lastly Steve, can you just characterize a little bit what you see going on? I mean you have a pretty, pretty amazing collection of financial institutions as customers, what’s the behavior in these big banks these days? Are the wallets starting to open up? How does it feel?

Steve Springsteel

Yes. I mean if you look at the selling process, the budgets have been approved. What we see is a longer kind of sales validation process. So we find that we are doing more proof of concepts. One thing that we see is a lot of third-party validation of projects, so you will see like a Mackenzie is an example. We brought into a quick study to make – to kind of give it a stamp of approval that they are making the right vendor choices and that the project is the right project.

So we see a lot of that type of activity that everybody has more boxes if they have to check in order to get all requisite approval to get it done. But they are getting done. It’s just taking a little longer than it would have taken say a year-and-a-half ago.

Patrick Walravens – JMP Securities

Great. Thank you.

Steve Springsteel

All right, thanks, Pat.

Operator

Thank you. Mr. Springsteel, I show there are no further questions at this time. Please continue.

Steve Springsteel

Great. I would like to thank everybody for joining us on our third quarter call. And Pete and I look forward to talking with you again when we have our fourth quarter call at the end of our fiscal year. So once again, thank you very much for taking time to join us. Good-bye.

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, this concludes the Chordiant Software’s third quarter 2009 earnings conference call.

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Source: Chordiant Software, Inc. F3Q09 (Qtr End 06/30/09) Earnings Call Transcript

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